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Rev. Joseph S. Spatorico, priest for 39 years Jan. 9, 1941 -- Sept. 26, 2005

The Rev. Joseph S. Spatorico, pastor of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Batavia since 1997, died Monday in Erie County Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 64.

Born in Niagara Falls, he attended the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo, St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester and St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora. He earned an MBA in hospital administration from Webster University in St. Louis.

Father Spatorico was ordained a priest on May 21, 1966, by Bishop Pius A. Benincasa.

After serving in the Missionary Apostolate at Holy Family Parish in Machias, he served as assistant pastor of St. John Church in Jamestown, St. John de La Salle in Niagara Falls and Queen of Heaven in West Seneca.

Father Spatorico was assigned to Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean in 1975 and became administrator of St. Mary Church in Bolivar in 1979.

He was a military chaplain in the Navy and a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of St. John.

Survivors include his mother, Carmelina C. of Niagara Falls.

Bishop Edward U. Kmiec will offer a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Friday in St. Anthony Church, 122 Liberty St., Batavia. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Niagara Falls.


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